Day 10 - Saturday 2nd August 2008

Fernie to Calgary (the long way!)

Before leaving Fernie we had a little walk around - this is the laundromatt next door to our hotel, with the 3 Sisters behind.

The Court House

Holy Family Catholic Church

The Library

The Three Sisters...

...after which the hotel is named.

Heading east there were good views of mountains especially to the north.

We passed a freight train slogging up the incline towards Crowsnest Pass (though this has the least incline of the Rocky Mountain passes).

At Cranbrook we stopped and the youngsters got in an old car.

Cranbrook boasts the biggest truck in the world, used in the open cast coal mines around here.

These people are full size!

It sure is big, even if Laurie isn't convinced by the "biggest" tag.

Flags flying at Cranbrook - the last town in BC.

Coal - the life blood of Cranbrook.

Climbing up the hill towards Crowsnest Pass we met that train again - at a level crossing. Engine off, wait patiently!

Summit Lake at the pass.

Over into Alberta, the road descends between two lakes.

More stunning lumps of rock.

A big bird on the wing - caught from a moving car!

We got good views of the Rockies.

Frank slide - 100 years ago a huge amount of rock detached itself from Turtle Mountain (pictured) and flattened much of the village of Frank/

You only get a sense of scale when you put a person in among the rocks.

We headed east, then north on Highway 22, the Cowboy Trail, on the edge of the prairies with the rockies to the west. Lots of cattle grazing and hay fields.

And that hay has to be moved.

There are ranches of one kind or another all the way up the road.

And cattle.

And mountain views.

Chain Lakes - a reservoir (you can see the dam).

More mountains out west.

Cattle and mountains at Bar U Ranch, a heritage site.

L & R at Bar U Ranch.


Bird feeding its young at Bar U.

A heifer.

Taking the Percherons to water.

They then gave us a lift through the site.

One of the heritage buildings.

The cowboys' bunkhouse.

The horses even have monogrammed blinkers.

Another pair of Percherons.

B found a friendly kitten.

And of course found equine friends.

An old threshing machine.

More agricultural machinery.

An old Mercury truck

Classic dashboard.

A chuck wagon at the camp.

Sitting round the camp fire.

The cowboy tells his tales (and provides coffee).

Old fashioned goods in the bunkhouse.

Main bedroom.

A sewing machine like granny's!

The bunk room.

The saddlery.

Laurie tries a hat in the shop.

We decided that it was too early to go straight to Calgary, so we headed south west from Longview on Highway 541 passing nodding donkeys...

...and into Kananaskis country.

Just after a sign warning of possible encounters, we met some Rocky Mountain Sheep...

...keep up little one!

Stunning views as we worked our way through the mountains.

Until we reached Highwood Pass - probably the highest we've driven. We're now on Highway 40, the paved part of the forestry road.

More views...

Who's that crossing the road?

A cinnamon black bear.

The mountains to our east were well illuminated by the low sun.

A brief comfort break at Opal Lake.

Onward, northward.

Barrier Lake - Laurie's turquoise lake!

Our diversion via Kananaskis had taken us west and north of Calgary, so we had a dash along Highway 1, down Sarcee Trail with views of the children's hospital.

With views of downtown.

And so (with a bit of a loop because they've changed the road layout since the SatNav maps were made) we reached our hotel, and views of Tim Horton's and the setting sun.